Culture24/7: The best Science and Nature exhibitions to see in the UK for October 2013

By Ben Miller | 01 October 2013

There are four festivals (and mini-festivals) to look forward to in Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham and Cambridge this month. From Mexico to Blackburn and Luton to the Welsh electricity grid, here are seven to enjoy...

A photo of a female dancer in an all-blue outfit raising her hand to the air against black
Sadhana Dance take on surgical procedures in Under My Skin this month© Mark Pepperall, Hot Pepper Design
Abandon Normal Devices 2013, various venues, Liverpool, October 3-5

An address by alchemist artist Adam Brown on being creative within toxic environments and a vehicle by Mexicans Los Ferronautus – used to hijack tracks on the abandoned railways of South America, but now destined for a month-long canal-side residency in Blackburn – are among the highlights for the fifth edition of FACT’s festival of digital, science-tinged art. Look out for Mark Boulos’ immersive, Hitchcock-inspired video at the host venue.

Under my Skin, Luton Hat Factory, Luton / The Place, London, October 15 / 19-20

Working with the Wellcome Collection, former trauma surgeon and current Imperial College London professor Roger Kneebone has teamed up with choreographer Suba Subramaniam for this insight into the clinical world. Played out by three dancers, it’s followed by a Café Scientifique debate.

GameCity8, various venues, Nottingham, October 19-26

Exhibitions, club nights, gigs and two massive screens in the city’s Old Market Square as one of the world’s most popular festivals devoted to all things gaming comes to Nottingham. Fans are being invited to donate their old consoles and games to the National Videogame Archive – a collection of more than 6,500 game-related items fused by Nottingham Trent University and the Science Museum.

Cambridge Festival of Ideas, various venues, Cambridge, from October 23

The cerebral elements of the University of Cambridge’s festival range from Werner Herzog films to the truth about brain-boosting tricks and art as remedy. Family highlights include livewire drawing workshops at the Fitzwilliam Museum and trails meeting ancient animals at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Manchester Science Festival, various venues, Manchester, from October 24

Gothic pub quizzes, punk science, the North West Astronomy Festival and coffee-based experiments are a few we could mention in the typically crammed programme across ten days in Manchester. The mysterious Captain Hooked is also ready to play with your lugholes and emotions – headphones at the ready at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Wallace: The Forgotten Evolutionist?, National Museum Cardiff, Cardiff, from October 19

If you’re going to be overshadowed by anyone, it might as well be Charles Darwin. Still, Alfred Russel Wallace will always be the man who discovered natural selection alongside his more celebrated colleague, and this exhibition should redress some of the balance by looking back on the career of a hugely important scientist on the centenary of his death.

Power to the People - Generating Electricity in Wales, National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, from October 26

Although its industrial roots suggest Welsh folk are dab hands at keeping everyone powered up, the truth is less clear-cabled than that. Discover the sources of electricity and its path from stations and grids to homes.

What are you looking forward to this month? Leave a comment below.

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